The move gives Batey, a GM lifer and high-energy Briton, responsibility for Chevy, which accounts for half of the automaker's sales worldwide, as well as GM's sales operations in the United States, the company's most profitable market.
"Chevrolet is our mainstream global brand, and with the growth we are experiencing and the barrage of new products we have coming, the time is right for us to have a single leader responsible for managing the brand around the world," GM CEO Dan Akerson said in a statement.
In his new role as head of Chevy globally, Batey will report to Akerson. As head of U.S. sales, service and marketing, he will continue to report to Mark Reuss, president of GM North America.
Akerson has said he wants to create clear accountability for the growth of Chevrolet and Cadillac, which he calls GM's two "global brands." Last fall, he assigned Bob Ferguson to a similar role as global vice president of Cadillac.
The move comes during a busy launch schedule for Chevrolet. The brand will roll out 13 new or redesigned models in the United States this year and 12 more in international markets.
Major U.S. rollouts include the redesigned 2014 Impala sedan, which hit showrooms in April; the redesigned 2014 Silverado pickup, launched this month; and the 2014 Corvette Stingray, which is expected to arrive by September.
Through May, Chevy's U.S. sales rose 5 percent, to 821,674 units, vs. 7 percent growth for the industry overall. Globally, GM said Chevy sold a record 1.2 million units during the January-to-March period, the brand's 10th straight quarter of record global sales.
Batey began his GM career in 1979 as a mechanical engineering apprentice for Vauxhall in the United Kingdom. He has since held various sales and marketing positions for GM, including senior management positions in Korea, the Middle East and in several European countries.
In 2008, when Reuss was president of GM's Holden Australian division, Batey was his head of sales and marketing. After Reuss was moved to his current post in 2009, Batey succeeded him as Holden's chairman and managing director.
Batey has emerged as a go-to executive for key assignments since landing his first U.S.-based position as head of Chevy sales in early 2010, when GM was trying to rebound from its 2009 bankruptcy. In July 2012, after the abrupt departure of former GM marketing head Joel Ewanick, Akerson turned to Batey to fill that role on an interim basis.
"Alan Batey has worked in markets all over the world, has demonstrated the ability to deliver great business results and understands how to balance global brand consistency while maintaining the local voice of the customer," Akerson said.
Batey has helped launch Chevy's new "Find New Roads" marketing theme, which began in the United States in February and is being rolled out globally.
Since then, GM named Tim Mahoney, formerly Volkswagen of America's top marketer, as Chevy's global chief marketing officer, also a newly created post.
On Friday, Susan Docherty, who heads Chevy sales in Europe, announced plans to leave GM by September. Docherty, 50, said she wants to spend more time with her family.
Batey was promoted in June 2012, when he became GM's top U.S. sales executive after a management shuffle that left the sales chiefs for all of GM's U.S. brands -- Chevy, Cadillac and Buick-GMC -- reporting to him instead of Reuss.
That structure will continue with one exception: Cadillac's head of U.S. sales, Chase Hawkins, now will report to Ferguson instead of Batey, according to a memo sent to Cadillac dealers today.
Batey has been the driving force in GM's effort to transform Chevrolet's U.S. network of 3,000 dealerships. Through more intensive training, facility overhauls and advertising, GM is working to cast Chevy dealerships as more-inviting places with exceptional customer service.
For example, Chevy dealers who participate in GM's dealer-excellence program, Essential Brand Elements, were required to attend a three-day training session at one of Walt Disney Co.'s theme parks in Anaheim, Calif., or Orlando.